Rochester, New York

From Academic Kids

There is also a Rochester in Ulster County, New York; for that town see Rochester, Ulster County, New York. For other places called "Rochester" see Rochester (disambiguation).

Rochester, also known as both The Flower City, and The Flour City, is a city in Monroe County, New York, United States. As of the 2000 census, Rochester had a population of 219,773, making this the third largest city in New York State. Rochester is also the county seat for Monroe County.

The City of Rochester is at the center of a larger Metropolitan Area which encompasses and extends past Monroe County and includes Genesee County, Livingston County, Ontario County, Orleans County, and Wayne County. This larger conurbation has a population of 1,037,831 people as of the 2000 Census. Principal suburbs of the city include Brighton, Irondequoit, Henrietta, East Rochester, Fairport, Penfield, Pittsford, Webster, Rush and Greece.

A portion of Rochester's skyline, looking north along the Genesee River from the Ford Street Bridge
A portion of Rochester's skyline, looking north along the Genesee River from the Ford Street Bridge


Main article: History of Rochester, New York

Education, Culture and Recreation

Education is a primary industry in Rochester. The city and its suburbs are home to a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, Saint John Fisher College, Roberts Wesleyan College, Nazareth College, Monroe Community College, and the Eastman School of Music. Together with Alfred University, SUNY Brockport, and SUNY Geneseo, each within an hour of Rochester, these institutions comprise the Rochester Area Colleges consortium. Rochester is also home to a number of cultural institutions including the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the Memorial Art Gallery, the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences, the Strong Museum, and the Strasenburg Planetarium.

The city's Victorian era Mt. Hope Cemetery includes the final resting place of several famous Americans, including Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass (see List of Rochesterians). Rochester is also known for its extensive park system, including the Highland Botanical Park, Cobb's Hill Park, Durand-Eastman Park, Genesee Valley Park, Maplewood Park, Edgerton Park, Seneca Park and Ontario Beach Park.

The city also has 13 full-time recreation centers, 19 swimming programs, 3 artificial ice rinks, 66 softball/baseball fields, 47 tennis courts, 5 football fields, 7 soccer fields, and 43 outdoor basketball courts. Echoing its famous history as the Flower City, Rochester still has a yearly lilac festival for ten days in May, when nearly 400 named varieties of lilacs bloom, and 100,000 visitors arrive from as far away as Europe and Japan.

South of Rochester is the scenic Letchworth State Park with its spectacular canyon and waterfalls. Also to the south and southeast is the glacially-formed Finger Lakes Region, with its numerous lakes and summer cottages.

Rochester has developed a number of festivals that celebrate the many aspects of Rochester life. These include the Rochester International Jazz Festival, now (2004) in its third year; the Corn Hill Festival (arts, crafts, and food in this historic Third Ward neighborhood); the High Falls Film Festival (held at the George Eastman House's Dryden Theatre and the Little Theatre downtown); the Image Out/Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (also held at the Little Theatre); the Clothesline Art Festival (artists from the region display their works on the grounds of the Memorial Art Gallery); the Park Avenue Merchants Festival; the Lilac Festival at Highland Park (world famous for its lilac bushes); the Rochester Music Festival; and the Cold Rush Winter Celebration (celebrating the wide variety of winter sports in the Rochester area). There is something for everyone in these festivals.

Commerce and Industry

Rochester is a home to a number of international businesses, including Eastman Kodak, Bausch & Lomb and Paychex, all of which make Rochester their world headquarters. Xerox, while no longer headquartered in Rochester, has its principal offices and manufacturing facilities in the Rochester area. Because of the high prevalence of imaging and optical science among the industry and the universities, Rochester is known as the world capital of imaging. The University of Rochester's School of Optics is ranked number one in the country, and the Rochester Institute of Technology has one of the best imaging science departments in the country.

Rochester is also home to regional businesses such as Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., Roberts Communications, Inc., The Sutherland Group, PAETEC Communications and major fashion label Hickey-Freeman.

The University of Rochester's Laboratory For Laser Energetics (LLE) is home to the most powerful laser in the world, the OMEGA. The LLE is currently constructing the OMEGA EP, which will be 50 times more powerful than the OMEGA and able to manifest power equal to the epicenter of a hydrogen bomb blast, or the center of the sun.

Nick Tahou Hots, creator of the world-famous garbage plate, also calls Rochester home.

Major area shopping centers

Top 5 Employers (as of 2005)


Rochester is located at 43°9'56" North, 77°36'41" West (43.165496, -77.611504)Template:GR. Rochester is east of Buffalo and west of Syracuse.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 96.1 km2 (37.1 mi2). 92.8 km2; (35.8 mi2) of it is land and 3.3 km2; (1.3 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 3.42% water.

Rochester's scenic geography comes from the glaciers during the Cenozoic era. The retreating glaciers created the Genesee Valley and left rolling hills (drumlin fields) around it, including (from west to east) Mt. Hope, the rolling hills of Highland Park, Pinnacle Hill and Cobb's Hill. These glaciers also left behind Lake Ontario (one of the five fresh-water Great Lakes), the Genesee River with its waterfalls and gorges, Irondequoit, Sodus and Braddock's Bays, numerous local streams and ponds, the Ridge, and the nearby Finger Lakes.


Rochester is served by the Greater Rochester International Airport. Daily scheduled air service is provided by Air Canada / Air Georgian, AirTran Airways, American, Continental, Delta, Independence Air, jetBlue, Northwest, United, and US Airways. Both Amtrak (passenger) and freight lines provide rail service to Rochester. Rochester has interurban and transcontinental bus service via Greyhound and Trailways. There are three exits off the New York State Thruway (Interstate 90) that serve Rochester. Rochester has an extensive freeway (expressway) system which connects all parts of the city and the city with the Thruway. There is marine freight service at the Port of Rochester on Lake Ontario, which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

A high speed passenger/vehicle ferry across Lake Ontario linking Rochester to Toronto, Ontario commenced service on June 17, 2004. Using the vessel, Spirit of Ontario I, the service was marketed using the name "The Breeze," and had its first sold-out trip from Toronto to Rochester on Canada Day, July 1, 2004 despite many skeptics' claims that this would never happen. However, on September 7, 2004, Canadian American Transportation Systems abruptly suspended service for financial reasons. At a public auction held on February 28, 2005, Rochester Ferry Company LLC, a subsidiary of the City of Rochester, purchased the vessel for $32 million. In April 2005 it was announced that Bay Ferries Great Lakes Limited would operate the vessel using the marketing term "The Cat". Daily service between Rochester and Toronto is expected to restart on June 30, 2005.

From 1927 to 1957, Rochester had an underground transit system. Sites that describe the system call it the Rochester Subway, but pictures show that it used single streetcar vehicles. By today's standards, then, it would be called a light-rail system. There are proposals to put in a new system, possibly using some of the old tunnels. One proposal includes converting the old Broad St. tunnel into an underground pedestrian walkway, which would also include a Rochester Transportation Museum.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 219,773 people, 88,999 households, and 47,169 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,368.3/km² (6,132.9/mi²). There are 99,789 housing units at an average density of 1,075.3/km² (2,784.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 48.30% White, 38.55% African American, 0.47% Native American, 2.25% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.58% from other races, and 3.81% from two or more races. 12.75% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 88,999 households out of which 30.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.1% are married couples living together, 23.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 47.0% are non-families. 37.1% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.36 and the average family size is 3.19.

In the city the population is spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $27,123, and the median income for a family is $31,257. Males have a median income of $30,521 versus $25,139 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,588. 25.9% of the population and 23.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 37.5% of those under the age of 18 and 15.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

According to the City of Rochester, the city presently has 537 miles (864 km) of public streets, 585 miles (941 km) of water mains, 44 vehicular and 8 pedestrian bridges, 11 public libraries, 7 police stations, and 16 fire stations. The principal source of the city's water is Hemlock Lake, which, with its watershed, is wholly owned by the city. Other water sources are Canadice Lake and Lake Ontario. The 30 year annual average snowfall is 95.0 inches (2.4 m) The mean July temperature 71.3 °F (21.8 °C), and the mean February temperature is 23.6 °F (-4.7 °C).


Interstate 490 runs east-west through Rochester, starting at LeRoy, NY and ending in Victor, NY. It interchanges with the two other Interstates in Rochester: Interstate 390 and Interstate 590, as well as connecting at both ends with Interstate 90, better known as the New York State Thruway.

Interstate 590 runs north-south through Rochester's eastern subburbs. Its southern end is at Interstate 390, while the northern end is at Interstate 490. At this point it becomes State Route 590.

Interstate 390 runs north-south through Rochester's western subburbs. Its northern end is at Interstate 490, however it continues north as State Route 390 till it merges into the Lake Ontario Parkway. The southern end of Interstate 390 goes down to Avoca, New York, where it meets up with U.S. Highway 15 and Interstate 86.



Rochester has 6 Broadcast television stations:

<p> Rochester's cable television provider is Time Warner Cable, which also provides a 24-hour local news channel called RNEWS


Rochester has one daily newspaper, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. There are two free weekly publications as well: City Newspaper, which is an alternative news weekly; and Rochester Insider, a weekly paper geared towards the under 35 crowd. Other publications include the Rochester Business Journal, covering the local business community, and the monthly Empty Closet, New York's oldest gay and lesbian community newspaper.


Rochester has five professional sports teams: the Rochester Red Wings (International League) (AAA) baseball club, Rochester Americans (AHL) hockey club (known commonly as the "Amerks"), and Rochester Raging Rhinos soccer club. All these franchises are minor league level teams. There are also two professional lacrosse teams in Rochester. The Rochester Knighthawks club plays box lacrosse in the National Lacrosse League during the winter/spring seasons. Meanwhile, during the summer, the Rochester Rattlers club plays field lacrosse in the Major League Lacrosse organization. From 1920-1925, Rochester was home of the Rochester Jeffersons, a charter member of the National Football League. Rochester was also the home of what is now the Sacramento Kings, from 1948-1957 having won an NBA Championship in the 1950-51 season. They were called the Rochester Royals while playing there. The city will soon have a new basketball team called the Rochester Razorsharks.

Citizens of note

See also List of Rochesterians

The following people were born in the Rochester area: Johnny Antonelli, John Ashbery, Angelo Buono, Jr., Philip Barry, William Seward Burroughs, Cab Calloway, Francis Pharcellus Church, Julie Cialini, David Diamond, Taye Diggs, Pete Duel, Melanie Good, Lou Gramm, Heinie Groh, Garson Kanin, Mimi Kennedy, Joanie Laurer (a.k.a. Chyna), John Lithgow, Lydia Lunch, Chuck Mangione, Mitch Miller, Audrey Munson, Hugh O'Brien William F. Quinn, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charley Radbourn, Nick Tahou, Zoheb Manzur, Wendy O. Williams, and Matthew Evinger.

The following people died in Rochester: Susan B. Anthony, Louise Brooks, George Eastman, Christopher Lasch, Lewis H. Morgan, Nathaniel Rochester, and Rod Serling.

Points of interest

Sister cities

External links


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